TACOMA, WASH. – Tacoma Defiance today announced that it has signed defender Pedro Karalkovas Rodrigues to a MLS NEXT Pro contract. Financial terms were not disclosed. Rodrigues joins Defiance following a youth career in Brazil where he spent six years in Palmeiras’ academy. The defender will be eligible to play upon receipt of his International Transfer Certificate, once the secondary transfer window opens next month.
“We as a club are excited to get the opportunity to work with and help Pedro transition and grow him into the professional game,” said Vice President of Player Development Henry Brauner. “We’ve been tracking him since his time as a youth academy product at Palmeiras and with the Brazilian Youth National Team. We must give credit to Pedro, as he impressed the club during his training period with us and we are excited to help him take next steps in his pathway.”
Pedro, 19, spent six seasons in Palmeiras’ academy system from 2016-2022. The Brazil native has also been called into Brazil’s National Team at the U-15 and U-17 levels. The signing brings Tacoma’s roster to 17 players as the club continues its 2023 MLS NEXT Pro campaign.
“We are so excited to sign Pedro to Defiance,” said Tacoma Defiance Head Coach Wade Webber. “He is a wonderfully technical left back who brings with him a tremendous pedigree and background. I have been impressed by his willingness to ask questions and desire to improve, which isn’t always something a young player displays. He is competitive but always with a positive attitude. My whole staff looks forward to working with Pedro and helping him learn and grow with Defiance.”
Through 10 games this season, Tacoma sits in second place in the Pacific Division with 18 points (4-3-3), five points behind Whitecaps FC 2 with two matches in hand. Webber’s side ranks sixth overall in the Western Conference, 11 points behind first-place Colorado Rapids 2. Defiance now embarks on a stretch of three road matches in eight days, beginning on Sunday, June 11 against San Jose Earthquakes II at PayPal Park (4:30 p.m. PT / Apple TV).
TRANSACTION: Tacoma Defiance signs defender Pedro Rodrigues to a MLS NEXT Pro contract on June 7, 2023.
Full Name: Pedro Karalkovas Rodrigues
Hometown: São Paulo, Brazil
Date of Birth: May 6, 2004 in São Paulo, Brazil
Acquired: Signed on June 7, 2023